Thursday, April 20, 2017

French Broccoli

Try and get a few stalks down:

"Disgruntled French steel workers turn to populist Le Pen" by John Leicester Associated Press  April 18, 2017

HAYANGE, France — The virulently nationalistic populist Marine Le Pen is projected to win millions of votes Sunday in the first round of France’s two-stage presidential election, catapulting her to within one step of an electoral earthquake that would shake France and the European Union to its core.

She will win a spot in the run-off but then lose. Read it here first.

For some disgruntled working-class voters, a ballot for the anti-establishment Le Pen is a yell of protest — their nuclear option against the political mainstream.

Steel worker Pascal Grimmer says she’ll get his vote because he’s ‘‘angry with politicians, filled with rage,’’ and ‘‘she is the candidate who most scares the others.’’

He hopes a high score for Le Pen will jolt mainstream politicians ‘‘to ask themselves, ‘What do people want?’ ’’

‘‘You reap what you sow,’’ he says. ‘‘Our politicians have treated the French people like idiots.’’

Last time, Grimmer voted for Francois Hollande, the Socialist whose presidency lasted just one term.

Grimmer was impressed when Hollande came stumping during the 2012 campaign for working-class votes at the ArcelorMittal steel plant where he works.

‘‘It really hurts me to see workers turning toward fascism,’’ labor leader Walter Broccoli says....

I suppose it would.



"Right-wing leader Marine Le Pen is gaining support in France and has taken the lead in a major survey of voters’ intentions for the first round of the presidential election. Since the election of Donald Trump as president on Nov. 8, the French race has been closely watched as another crucial battle between populist and establishment forces. European Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, a French Socialist, said in Davos on Thursday that there’s little chance of Le Pen securing the broad support needed for victory...."

Also see:

Far-right hopeful says French election ‘choice of civilization’

She buys into that neocon war crap, too?

EU Parliament lifts Le Pen immunity over gruesome tweets

What did she say?

"Le Pen visits Russia weeks before French presidential vote" Associated Press  March 23, 2017

PARIS — Her visit Friday follows a trip this week to Chad, base of a French military operation aimed at rooting out Islamic extremists from a swath of Africa. Le Pen is seeking to bolster her international credentials ahead of the two-round election April 23 and May 7.

Le Pen’s trip comes at a time when US lawmakers are investigating President Trump’s campaign links to Russia. Le Pen received a $9 million loan from a Russian bank in 2014 that raised concerns over Moscow’s potential influence on her and her party.

Le Pen has made multiple visits to Russia, as have her father, niece, and other members of the National Front, often meeting with Russian legislators. Moscow has courted far-right parties in Europe as friction between Russia and the West has mounted over the conflict in Ukraine and the Syrian civil war....

If she wins, they hacked it!


"Le Pen brings pro-Russia stance to meeting with Putin" by Adam Nossiter New York Times   March 25, 2017

PARIS — Marine Le Pen, the French far right’s presidential candidate, has never hidden her admiration for President Vladimir Putin of Russia, and on Friday she met with him in the Kremlin.

Russian television broadcast images of Le Pen, gesticulating energetically across the table from a disengaged-looking Putin.

The meeting highlighted the potential for a general realignment of relations with Russia, even at a time when Moscow has been accused of meddling in Western elections through computer hacking and the promotion of fake news, sowing alarm on both sides of the Atlantic.

CIA crap narrative!

Putin’s Russia has long been a source of aid for Le Pen’s National Front. In 2014, her party received a $9.7 million loan from a Russian bank; Le Pen said French banks were shunning her party. The loan nonetheless drew condemnation from the ruling Socialists as an unsavory example of foreign financing for a French political party. 

The 21st century Vichy government.

Denying any quid pro quo, the National Front was the only French party to approve Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and its officials have regularly called for the lifting of Western sanctions against Russia. National Front officials regularly visit Russia. From its earliest origins, the party has not been reticent about displaying an affinity for authoritarian rulers.

Umm, they didn't annex it; Crimea held a vote and were allowed to join. When they continually misrepresent or deceive, how can one believe in the U.S. pre$$?

“I won’t hide that, in a certain sense, I admire Vladimir Putin,” Le Pen was quoted as saying in the Russian paper Kommersant in 2011. “He makes mistakes, but who doesn’t? The situation in Russia is not easy.”

Her foreign policy positions in the 2017 campaign — Le Pen is favored to win in a first round of voting April 23 but lose in the second round two weeks later — have a clear pro-Russia tilt. Aides have praised Le Pen’s ideological closeness to Trump and Putin, saying she is well placed to form alliances with both.

They have already called it despite the fact that her opponents are literally $cum.

“She’s the only one who can speak with both Putin and Trump,” one of Le Pen’s top lieutenants, Jean-Lin Lacapelle, said in an interview in Paris two weeks ago.


Other candidates:

France’s Hollande and his premier weigh presidential bids

French police officer accidentally fires during Hollande speech

French President Hollande won’t seek re-election

He got the message, and it allowed him to do this:

French president pardons battered woman who killed husband in a case that has drawn public attention to the issue of domestic abuse.

Hollande waives prison for abused French woman who shot husband

His premiership was shot the moment he expanded the wars in Africa and capitulated to the banks.

"Valls, Hamon advance in French presidential primary" by Sylvie Corbet Associated Press  January 23, 2017

PARIS — Manuel Valls, a center-leaning former prime minister who rallied France together after extremist attacks, will confront stalwart Socialist Benoit Hamon in the country’s left-wing presidential primary runoff next week.

In France and across Europe, far-right populist parties are gaining strength, while leftist parties that played a central role in building modern Europe are in crisis.

Because when lefti$ts fail there is nowhere else to go.

In Britain, Italy, Poland, and other nations, voters are leaving center-left parties. Leftist politicians are struggling for survival. President Francois Hollande, acknowledging his personal unpopularity would lead his Socialist party to defeat in the presidential battle, declined to seek reelection.

Somber but combative, Valls called for left-wing voters to rally behind him as a bulwark against the French far right and ‘‘the America of Donald Trump, the Russia of Vladimir Putin.’’

Valls, 54, a Spanish immigrant who calls himself ‘‘deeply European,’’ has rallied against populism even as polls show rising support for anti-immigration, anti-EU sentiment.

Valls urged voters to choose him as a representative of the ‘‘credible left’’ instead of what he described as an idealist candidate who makes ‘‘promises that cannot be fulfilled.’’

He criticized Hamon’s pledges to pay a universal income as a massive budget burden that diminishes the value of work, and promised to continue reforms to adapt leftist ideas to the 21st-century economy.

Valls has faced fierce attacks from harder-left rivals who associate him with Hollande. He argues that he has the experience that France’s next leader will need as the country is facing the threat of extremist attacks, and to revitalize a lagging economy.

He is promising to decrease taxes for modest and middle-class households and to boost police and defense.

That's more like Reagan.

Hamon, 49, is a lower-profile politician yet he gained popularity in recent years by leading a group of rebel Socialist lawmakers who opposed Valls.

A former junior minister and education minister, he left the government in 2014 after he expressed disagreement with Valls’s pro-business policies.

He is pledging to push for the introduction of an $800 ‘‘universal income’’ living allowance for all adults in the country.

Hamon said Sunday that he hopes to make the French ‘‘believe again in the left’’ and insisted his priorities are social and ecological issues.

That doesn't cut it when war and the banks are the problems.

Arnaud Montebourg, another former minister who criticized Valls’s economic policies, secured third place in Sunday’s voting. He called for his voters to support Hamon in the runoff to ensure a candidate that can resist the ‘‘brutal’’ candidacies of pro-free market conservative Francois Fillon and National Front leader Marine Le Pen.

‘‘Next Sunday, I will vote for Benoit Hamon and I invite you to do the same,’’ Montebourg told supporters Sunday night. By depriving Valls of the first place that might have been expected of a prime minister, Montebourg said, the primary’s voters ‘‘massively and seriously condemned the current presidential term.’’


Related: "Hard-left rebel Benoit Hamon is heading into France’s Socialist presidential primary runoff as a surprising favorite to beat probusiness pragmatist Manuel Valls. The Sunday vote is expected to realign France’s unpredictable presidential campaign. Hamon is the favorite in the runoff after leading in the first round with 36 percent of the votes. He has proposed a $800 a month ‘‘universal income’’ that would be gradually granted to all adults. Valls, a former prime minister who placed second with 31.4 percent, criticized Hamon’s ‘‘unrealistic’’ promises (AP)."

"Hard work starts now for France’s Socialist candidate" by John Leicester Associated Press  January 30, 2017

PARIS — Beating a politically weakened former prime minister proved easy for Benoit Hamon, who will represent France’s ruling Socialist Party in the country’s presidential election. Far harder will be convincing voters that his hard-left platform isn’t the recipe for ruin his critics claim.

Hamon’s comfortable victory Sunday in a Socialist primary runoff against Manuel Valls owed much to his radical proposal to give all French adults a regular monthly income to protect them in an automated future where machines will take their jobs.

Hamon’s winning margin — nearly 59 percent of the votes, with about 75 percent of the vote tallied — also appeared as a resounding rejection of unpopular outgoing President Francois Hollande and Valls, his prime minister for more than two years. But the path forward for Hamon is littered with obstacles.

First, he will have to unite the Socialists behind him, which could be heavy lifting. Divisions are deep between the party’s hard-left wing, which consistently criticized Hollande and Valls’s policies, and the advocates of more center-left views.

Any other candidates?

Another major challenge for Hamon will be negotiating with fiery far-left leader and fellow presidential candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon, who is trying to attract votes from disappointed Socialists. Hamon is proposing a coalition with Melenchon that might have a better chance of winning the general election.

Hamon will also face tough competition from outspoken centrist Emmanuel Macron, who has found increasing popularity with his probusiness views.

Such are the left’s divisions that some Valls supporters may now shift to Macron’s independent run for the presidency.

The outcome of the two-round vote in April and May looks increasingly uncertain.

Leading conservative candidate Francois Fillon, who also is a former prime minister, was rocked in the past week by allegations that his wife, Penelope, held a fake but handsomely paid job as a parliamentary aide. Financial prosecutors are investigating.

At a campaign rally in Paris on Sunday — where a boisterous crowd gave Penelope Fillon a standing ovation and chanted her name, Fillon said, ‘‘We have nothing to hide.’’

A priority for Hamon, a 49-year-old former junior minister and, briefly, education minister, will be to rally the Socialists, split ideologically and wounded by Hollande’s five-year tenure as president.

‘‘Our country needs the left, but a left that is modern and innovates,’’ Hamon said.

Early polling has suggested the Socialist candidate will struggle to advance to the presidential runoff in May, where far-right leader Marine Le Pen could be waiting, campaigning on anti-Europe, anti-immigration and anti-Islam themes.

In defeat, Valls didn’t throw his support behind Hamon, but cautioned against the risk of the country shifting to the right.

‘‘We refuse that tomorrow Marine Le Pen becomes the face of France,’’ he said.

Why? She's not that bad looking.


Would you rather it be this face?

French prosecutor requests criminal trial for Sarkozy

"Nicolas Sarkozy ordered to stand trial over campaign finances" by Aurelien Breeden New York Times  February 08, 2017

PARIS — Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, 62, a mercurial right-wing politician who was president of France from 2007 to 2012, has denied any wrongdoing.

Sarkozy is out of the running for presidential elections this spring after a poor showing in a November primary for the center and right candidates, and he no longer leads the center-right Republican Party.

His diminished role in French politics would limit the fallout from a trial, but the judge’s decision comes amid growing anger against the political establishment and reflects increased scrutiny of its financial and personal arrangements.

François Fillon, Sarkozy’s former prime minister and the Republican presidential candidate, is bearing the brunt of the current outrage after revelations that he used taxpayer money to pay family members for parliamentary work that might not have been genuine.

This as the French endure social service cuts and austerity!

Sarkozy tried a political comeback last year, steering his primary campaign rightward and hoping that the French electorate would look past his legal entanglements....


I'm sorry, not him.

Ex-prime minister Fillon wins France’s conservative presidential primary

François Fillon, France’s conservative front-runner, promises the return of the traditional right

Fillon says he would withdraw French candidacy if charged

He lied.

"French presidential hopeful Fillon refuses to drop out" by Elaine Ganley Associated Press  February 07, 2017

PARIS — Francois Fillon on Monday defiantly refused to drop out of the race to be France’s next president despite an investigation into whether well-paid political jobs he gave his wife, son, and daughter were genuine.

The scandal has knocked Fillon from his perch as favorite in the April-May voting.

Then it will be Macron, no?

The conservative politician who served as prime minister from 2007 to 2012, the chief workhorse under then-President Nicolas Sarkozy, has long had a reputation as low-key, reliable, and standing for moral rectitude, making the corruption scandal particularly shocking to his party, supporters, and the French as a whole.


Fillon’s popularity has dropped in the past two weeks following allegations by the Canard Enchaine newspaper that his Welsh-born wife Penelope was paid 830,000 euros ($900,000) over 15 years without doing anything to earn the salary. The Paris prosecutor’s office on Thursday expanded its investigation to include Fillon’s son and daughter.

Officials of the far-right National Front party, including leader Marine Le Pen, also are under investigation for their use of aides in the European parliament.

Fillon and his family live in an elegant manor in the Sarthe region southwest of Paris. To bolster his reputation he detailed the worth of the building — 750,000 euros (about $804,000) — and other holdings, and said he does not have to pay the tax on fortunes demanded of the wealthiest. Fillon said he was publishing his assets online Monday night. 

This is Louis the XVI stuff!

Fillon said the scandal grew out of a political conspiracy to take him out of the race, and make it a face-off between far-right leader Marine Le Pen — whose family he blasted as ‘‘untouchable’’ — and Emmanuel Macron, an untested former banker and Socialist Party maverick whom Fillon called a ‘‘guru.’’

Look at the crazy.... sigh. 


"Fillon stays in French presidential race despite summons" by ANGELA CHARLTON and SAMUEL PETREQUIN Associated Press  March 01, 2017

PARIS — Conservative candidate Francois Fillon refused to quit France’s roller coaster presidential race Wednesday despite receiving a summons to face charges of getting his wife and children taxpayer-funded jobs in which they allegedly did no work.

Calling the judicial investigation a ‘‘political assassination,’’ Fillon urged his supporters to ‘‘resist’’ and said he would leave it up to French voters to decide his fate. He was once a front-runner in the presidential election race, but Fillon’s chances have slipped since the probe began in January.

Cracks started to emerge in Fillon’s Republicans party hours after his announcement, with the resignation of a top ally. But it’s unclear whether Fillon’s decision will dramatically alter the electoral landscape, since the polls are dominated now by far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen and centrist independent candidate Emmanuel Macron.

The top two presidential vote-getters in France’s April 23 ballot will head to a presidential runoff on May 7.

Fillon denied all allegations and said legal procedures were not properly followed in the probe....


"France’s Fillon clings to presidential race, admits errors" by Angela Charlton Associated Press  March 06, 2017

PARIS — With the Eiffel Tower as a backdrop, French conservative Francois Fillon clung tenaciously to his presidential candidacy Sunday, urging tens of thousands of supporters at a high-stakes rally not to flee his ship despite escalating pressure to step aside because of impending corruption charges.

He's made it this far.

Crowds of flag-waving voters chanting ‘‘Fillon, President!’’ appeared to give him the confidence he needs to keep up the fight.

That support came despite a raft of defections by conservative allies in recent days that threatened to plunge France’s unpredictable presidential campaign into unprecedented disarray just seven weeks before its first-round election.

Fillon, a former prime minister, apologized to voters for errors in judgment but insisted he was being unfairly targeted in an election season. Once the front-runner in France’s presidential race, he is now being eclipsed by two other candidates.

You can't have a but with that.

His low-profile Welsh wife Penelope — accused of earning a generous taxpayer-funded salary for years for jobs she never performed — took an unusually public place at his side at Sunday’s rally, waving a tricolor flag before adoring crowds.

Despite the rally, Fillon’s Republicans party remains dangerously divided over his candidacy. Its political committee will hold an urgent meeting Monday to evaluate the situation after Sunday’s rally and the recent defections, including by Fillon’s campaign manager and his campaign spokesman.

Many conservatives want Alain Juppe, another former prime minister who was the runner-up in the party’s primary, to run in Fillon’s place.

Juppe, who has shown little inclination to run as a replacement candidate, plans to make a statement Monday in Bordeaux, where he is mayor. He campaigned on a more moderate platform than the tough-on-security, pro-free market Fillon.

Polls now suggest that far-right leader Marine Le Pen and centrist independent candidate Emmanuel Macron will come out on top in the first-round vote on April 23. The top two vote-getters go on to compete in the May 7 presidential runoff.

A poll released Sunday suggested Juppe would have a better chance at reaching the runoff than Fillon.

Fillon showed no sign of backing down Sunday, however. Fillon apologized to his supporters for having to concentrate on defending his family’s honor.

‘‘I committed the first error in the past, in asking my wife to work for me. . . . I shouldn’t have done that,’’ he said. ‘‘And I committed the second in hesitating about the way to talk about it.’’

The dole is not wrong.

Dozens of buses brought supporters in from around France, while riot police stood guard. Fillon said 200,000 people showed up at Sunday’s rally, though police estimates were lower.

It's all illusion and imagery!

Hundreds of left-wing protesters held a counterdemonstration across town to denounce widespread political corruption among France’s political elite.

Le Pen is riding high even though she is at the center of several investigations along with her anti-immigration National Front party.

Probably helps her.

Juppe, the potential savior of conservative chances, was convicted in 2004 for an illegal party funding scheme and barred from elected office for a year.


"This year’s presidential election should have been effortless for the conservative Republicans party. Instead, Far-right nationalists, meanwhile, are gearing up for what they hope is their Donald Trump moment."

I think they may be disappointed, and it's ‘‘too late’’ for Juppe.


RelatedFrance’s would-be presidents rally in Paris days before vote


The issues:

"Two held over plot to disrupt French presidential election" by AURELIEN BREEDEN New York Times News Service  April 18, 2017

PARIS — The target of the plot was not disclosed. The news interjected additional uncertainty into a tumultuous and dynamic race, in which the first voting takes place on Sunday.

Marine Le Pen, the far-right candidate, and Emmanuel Macron, an independent candidate, told Agence France-Presse that their campaigns received warnings about the two men, including their photographs. Le Pen is planning a campaign rally in Marseille on Wednesday evening.

Over 50,000 police officers, gendarmes, and soldiers will be deployed across France to secure the two rounds of voting, on Sunday and on May 7, when a runoff between the two top vote-getters would be held....


The suspects are Islamic radicals.

Islamic State recruiter linked to attack plots in France

"Fewer foreign tourists are visiting Paris after deadly attacks last year and a season of strikes, violent labor action, and exceptional floods. The regional tourism office reported figures for the first half of 2016 this week showing that the drop was especially high among Japanese, Russian, and Chinese visitors. Spending on hotels fell particularly sharply, but was partially compensated by a rise in the number of people staying in private apartment offerings. Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has called a meeting for early September to find ways to revive tourism, which represents about 7 percent of the French economy. Other French regions have not been as hard hit as Paris, though French Riviera tourism was shaken by a truck attack in Nice last month that killed 86."

That's the price of deceit and false flag terror.

French stage antiracism protest after Chinese man’s death

Maybe why they stopped coming.

Normandy church reopens after priest killed in ISIS attack
Heavy security as Sting reopens Bataclan after Paris attacks
Terror plot allegedly thwarted as police arrest 7 in France
‘Man in the hat’ from Brussels attacks charged in France
Belgium arrests 5, including man connected to Brussels and Paris attacks
Man in hat in Brussels airport attack is in custody, Belgium says
Arrests disrupt ‘imminent’ ISIS attack in France

French soldier shoots assailant after knife attack near Louvre

He is an Egyptian national, and it looks and smells like same old fake sh** while validating Trump.

"Louvre reopens as Egypt identifies machete attacker" by Thomas Adamson Associated Press   February 04, 2017

PARIS — Louvre visitors expressed mixed feelings Saturday on the incident with some tourists planning to leave Paris earlier than planned.

‘‘We heard on the news that a terrorist attack took place . . . We stayed at the hotel and we’re thinking about cutting our vacation in Paris short,’’ said Lucia Reveron, from Argentina.

Others were stoic and felt safe because of the heightened security presence.

With the spate of attacks on the country in the last couple of years many permanent residents have become resilient, even blasé.

Like Americans.

‘‘There have been very good security measures taken, and it does not scare me at all,’’ said Regine Dechivre. ‘‘It’s the phenomena of a person a little bit disturbed. The investigation will tell us what exactly happened.”

Yeah, right, the investigation.

The suspect’s father said Hamahmy is married with a 7-month-old child, and in his last contact with the family said he intended to tour the city’s sites before leaving France. He sent his father a photo of himself with the Eiffel tower in the background shortly before the attack.

Hamahmy’s brother Ahmed, who works at the Health Ministry in Dubai, was interrogated for several hours by security officials in the United Arab Emirates, the father said. In Egypt, several officers from the domestic security agency visited the family home in the Nile Delta on Friday night to question family members.

The United Arab Emirates condemned the attack after a French official said the suspect was believed to have been living in the UAE.

UAE officials offered no comment Saturday about his possible connection to the country.

The country, which includes the Mideast commercial hub of Dubai, is a major destination for guest workers from Egypt and numerous other countries. Foreign residents outnumber native Emiratis roughly four to one.

‘‘The UAE, while strongly condemning this hideous crime, affirms its full solidarity with the friendly French Republic in these circumstances and its support for whatever measures France may take to preserve its security and safety of its citizens and residents,’’ the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said in a prepared statement.

Then the cuts flights to the country.

France is working with the Emirates to build a branch of the Louvre in the federal capital, Abu Dhabi....


The suspect left Twitter account tweets, and father was shocked, saying it's ‘‘all a scenario made up by the French government to justify the soldiers opening fire.”  

"School shooting and letter bomb put France on alert" by James McAuley Washington Post   March 17, 2017

PARIS — A heavily armed student opened fire and wounded four people Thursday at a high school in the southern France city of Grasse, officials said.

France's Sandy Hook?

The student, whose identity was not released, was subsequently arrested, a spokesman for France’s National Police said.

A spokesman for the Interior Ministry, speaking on French television, said the suspect is a 17-year-old student at the Lycée Alexis de Tocqueville in Grasse who was in possession of a rifle, two handguns, and two grenades when arrested.

In a statement Thursday afternoon, the Alpes-Maritimes Prefecture, which includes Grasse, said the student ‘‘attacked for reasons that remain to be determined.”

He also tried to use a car as a weapon.

Four people, including the school’s principal, suffered gunshot wounds, while four others were slightly injured in the clamor to escape the school building, the statement said. All the shooting victims were hospitalized.

Another student at Lycée Tocqueville, identified only as Benjamin, 16, told the Nice-Matin newspaper that the shooting occurred during lunch hour.

‘‘Around 12:40, I was sitting down, finishing eating,’’ he told the paper. ‘‘I heard this loud bang and then two more. I turned around, and I saw someone in the courtyard with a shotgun, shooting. He was firing on the windows of the classrooms overlooking the courtyard. When I saw that, I ran away.’’

Interviewed on France’s BFM Television, Andréas, another student at the school, described a scene of ‘‘total panic’’ that began with four shots.

‘‘We started running,’’ he said. ‘‘We would have thought we were in a film. In the hall, there were traces of blood.’’

You probably were!

The suspect was of ‘‘European’’ origin, a spokesman for the National Police told the Post. There was no immediate word of any link to Islamist terrorism. Christian Estrosi, president of the Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur administrative region, which includes Grasse, said Thursday’s shooting was ‘‘absolutely not’’ a terrorist attack.

France, set for a highly contentious presidential election next month, has remained under a constant ‘‘state of emergency’’ after terrorist attacks claimed by the Islamic State group that killed 130 people in Paris in November 2015.

Also Thursday, a letter bomb exploded in the Paris offices of the International Monetary Fund. The employee who opened the letter was wounded in the hand and face, police said.

Christine Lagarde, the French director of the Washington-based IMF, condemned what she called a ‘‘cowardly act of violence against’’ her staff.

Shouldn't that be the lead, and was the school drill a diversion?

François Hollande, France’s Socialist president, has been frequently criticized for the country’s perpetual ‘‘state of emergency’’ by both the right and the left.


Looks like a crisis drill diversion to me. Look at the expressions on the kids faces. Fire drill!

"Man killed at Paris airport likely planned terrorist attack" by Alissa J. Rubin New York Times  March 18, 2017

My first reaction was fake or crisis drill gone live.

PARIS — A man who attacked a soldier at Orly Airport outside Paris Saturday was fatally shot in what the Paris prosecutor’s office said it was investigating as a possible act of terrorism. The attack occurred shortly after the man shot at a police officer during a routine traffic stop in a Paris suburb, the French interior minister said.

A Paris prosecutor said French soldiers fired three bursts, eight rounds in all, to kill the attacker who took a member of their patrol hostage at Paris’ Orly Airport and wrested away her assault rifle.

The prosecutor said the attacker held a pistol to the soldier’s head in the Saturday morning attack and used her as a shield. He wrested away her powerful military-grade assault rifle and wanted to use it to shoot people at the busy Paris airport.

This is already reading like crap.

Speaking Saturday night at a news conference, the prosecutor said a Quran was among the items later found on the body of the attacker, Ziyed Ben Belgacem.

Here we go!

The official said the French-born 39-year-old was flagged for suspected radicalism during a previous spell in prison. The man yelled that he wanted to die in the name of Allah and ‘‘whatever happens, there will be deaths.’’

A mind-f***ed patsy that they had a file on.

The shooting at Orly prompted a partial evacuation of the airport, the diversion of all flights and a security sweep to determine whether the assailant had left any explosives at the airport’s two terminals, officials said. Incoming flights were diverted to nearby Charles de Gaulle Airport.

To see how the sheep react.

The chain of events started when the man was stopped by police in a routine identity check at 6:50 a.m. in the Paris suburb of Garges-lès-Gonesse, Bruno Le Roux, the interior minister, said. The man fired a pistol loaded with birdshot and fled. One police officer suffered minor injuries.

The assailant then carjacked a vehicle in Vitry-sur-Seine, about 8 miles north of Orly Airport, and drove to the airport, where he attacked a female soldier who was part of a three-soldier unit patrolling the airport, said Jean-Yves Le Drian, the defense minister. Two soldiers opened fire on the man as he attacked, killing him.

A spokeswoman for the Paris prosecutor’s office said Saturday morning that its anti-terrorism unit and the French Intelligence Service had opened an investigation into the events.

Authorities did not release the man’s name, but the spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office said he was 39 and had a long police record, including arrests for robbery and drug-related offenses. She said that police had taken both his brother and father into custody for questioning.

The episode was reminiscent of an attack in February near the Louvre museum that forced the museum to close.

 Yeah. Hitting that mental trigger to undergird the narrative again.

The episode Saturday came amid a heated presidential election campaign in France, with the first round of voting just five weeks away, on April 23.

Any terrorist attack so close to the election, political analysts suggest, could be seen as an opportunity by the candidates of the far right, Marine Le Pen, and the center right François Fillion, to berate the current Socialist government and by association Emmanuel Macron, the center-left candidate, who previously was the economy minister, for failing to protect the French people.

The unit attacked at the airport was part of Operation Sentinel, which involves about 7,000 soldiers who patrol public areas in France, including high-profile locations like airports, areas near large tourist attractions and train stations.


The French Interior Ministry confirmed that special operations police officers who also deal with terrorism were at the airport. One of Orly’s two terminals, Orly-West, had reopened by 1 p.m., and flights were resuming....

Smells like a pile. 


Stink just got worse:

"Autopsy conducted to learn if French airport attacker was intoxicated" by John Leicester Associated Press  March 19, 2017

PARIS — French officials conducted an autopsy Sunday to determine whether a suspected Islamic extremist was drunk or high on drugs when he took a soldier hostage at Paris’s Orly Airport and was killed. 


Then he wasn't an Islamic extremists, and was more likely a drugged up patsy!

The suspect, Ziyed Ben Belgacem, was also flagged as having been radicalized during a spell in detention from 2011 to 2012.

France’s presidential election campaign is taking note of an attack on the airport military patrol.

Most notably, the party of far-right National Front candidate Marine Le Pen sought to capitalize from Saturday’s attack, accusing previous administrations and President Francois Hollande’s government of being weak in the face of security threats.

It's okay if Bush or U.S. politicians do that.

France’s military is on the front line of the fight against terrorism, one of the biggest challenges for the country’s next president. French troops are engaged in operations against Islamic extremism in Syria, Iraq, and Africa’s Sahel region, as well as in its own territory since terror attacks in 2015.

Social cuts!

Leading presidential candidates are proposing increasing the French defense budget to at least 2 percent of GDP by the mid-2020s, up from 1.78 percent now, in line with NATO targets.

Le Pen promises a more ‘‘substantial’’ financial effort to reach 3 percent of GDP, adding 50,000 more soldiers, a second aircraft carrier, and more jets, ships and armored vehicles.

Independent centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron, as well as conservative candidate Francois Fillon and the Socialist Benoit Hamon, have vowed to keep the number of troops stable.

France’s military currently has about 200,000 soldiers....

Where is the antiwar candidate? That Melenchon guy?


Also seeFrance retools anti-extremism efforts after public failures

"Prosecutor: Failed Paris car bomb plotted by IS-guided women" Associated Press  September 09, 2016

PARIS — A failed car bombing in the heart of Paris was hatched by a group of French women, including one once engaged to men who had already killed in the name of the Islamic State group, France’s top antiterrorism prosecutor said Friday.

The hunt to find the women, whom authorities said were guided from Syria, had been ‘‘a race against time’’ before they could strike again, said Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, overseeing the fight against extremists who have killed more than 200 in France in 10 months.

The Thursday night arrests linked three attacks — the failed car bomb near Notre Dame Cathedral, the killing of two police near Paris in June, and the stabbing death of a French priest in July — and marked a new phase in the Islamic State group’s efforts to sow fear in Europe.

‘‘There’s a group that has been annihilated, but there are others,’’ said President Francois Hollande.


RelatedFrench authorities foil alleged bomb plot and arrest 4, including 16-year-old girl

Leads to another issue.....

"French burkini bans face legal challenge" by Philippe Sotto Associated Press  August 26, 2016

Yeah, they are the source of all your troubles.

PARIS — France’s highest administrative authority is studying whether local bans on full-body burkini swimsuits are legal, amid growing concerns in the country and abroad about police forcing Muslim women to disrobe.

Images of uniformed police appearing to require a woman to take off her tunic, and media accounts of similar incidents, have elicited shock and anger online this week.

Some fear that burkini bans in several French towns are worsening religious tensions. The bans, based on a strict application of secularism policies, have exposed division within the government.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls told BFM television Thursday that burkinis represent ‘‘the enslavement of women’’ and reiterated his support for mayors who have banned them.

What do missiles and bombs that kill their menfolk and children while destroying their villages do for them?

But Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, a feminist with North African roots, said that while she doesn’t like the burkini swimsuit, bans of the garment are politically driven and unleashing racist sentiment.

‘‘My dream of society is a society where women are free and proud of their bodies,’’ she said on Europe-1 radio. But with tensions in France high after a series of deadly Islamic extremist attacks, she said, ‘‘We shouldn’t add oil to the fire’’ by banning burkinis.

Critics of the local decrees have said the orders are too vague, prompting local police officials to fine even women wearing the traditional Islamic headscarf and the hijab, but not burkinis.

The prime minister, while stressing his opposition to the burkini, urged police to implement the bans fairly and respectfully.

Two human rights groups, arguing the bans are discriminatory, have appealed to the Council of State to overturn the measures.

The council is holding a hearing in the case Thursday and is expected to rule within 48 hours. The ruling specifically concerns a ban in the Riviera town of Villeneuve-Loubet, but the decision will be binding and set legal precedent on the increasingly heated question of whether cities can tell Muslim women what to wear to the beach.

The Human Rights League and the Collective Against Islamophobia in France say the mayor’s decree violates basic freedoms of dress, religious expression and movement.

The Villeneuve-Loubet order bars from local beaches any people whose garments don’t respect the principles of secularism, health and safety rules, and good moral standards. Like other local decrees, the Villeneuve-Loubet ban doesn’t explicitly mention the word ‘‘burkini.’’


"Burkini ban overturned by French court" by James McAuley Washington Post  August 26, 2016

PARIS — After a month of intense national scandal and heightened international outrage, France’s highest administrative court, the Conseil d’Etat, on Friday overturned the burkini ban in a coastal area of the south of France.

Imposed in the name of secularism, perhaps France’s most sacred ideal, the highly controversial burkini bans — currently affecting 25 French towns and cities besides Villeneuve-Loubet, which the court primarily addressed — prohibit Muslim women from wearing full-bodied bathing suits designed to respect traditional codes of modesty on the beach.

But in its Friday ruling, the administrative court concluded that the idea of a burkini ban insulted ‘‘fundamental freedoms’’ such as the ‘‘freedom to come and go, the freedom of conscience and personal liberty.’’

In recent weeks, a network of local mayors and officials across France passed similar bans on the bathing suit, casting the burkini as the latest iteration of the burqa, the full-face veil that, in 2010, France became the first European country to ban outright. This 2010 law followed an earlier 2004 law prohibiting religious wear such as head scarves in public schools.

Their principal argument — similar to those employed by the authors and supporters of the previous laws — is that traditional Muslim dress somehow impedes the rights of women in the French Republic of liberty, equality, and fraternity.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls of France expressed his opposition to the burkini in nothing less than the language of human rights: the suit, he said, was a means of ‘‘enslavement.’’ By that logic, the French state is duty-bound to emancipate Muslim women not only from the clutches of their religion but also, by extension, from themselves.

Muslim leaders and French human rights advocates celebrated the decision, claiming that the burkini bans represent little but thinly veiled institutionalized Islamophobia in a country that is home to one of the largest Muslim populations in Europe, if not its largest.

Marwan Muhammad, the director of the Collective Against Islamophobia in France, one of the nongovernmental organizations involved in challenging the burkini ban, called Friday’s decision a ‘‘huge victory for human rights in France.’’

On Tuesday, images emerged of French police officers surrounding a Muslim woman on the beach in Nice, demanding that she remove some of her coverings. The images spread on social media across the globe.

‘‘There’s a kind of institutional validation for this racism,’’ Muhammad said. ‘‘And this will not go away with this overturned law. It will take a long time to challenge how deeply Islamophobia is embedded in France.’’

May never uproot it.


Think it can't happen here?

"ACLU: Christian woman forced to remove headscarf for license" Associated Press  August 31, 2016

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A Christian woman in Alabama was forced to remove her headscarf for a driver’s license photo after being told only Muslim women could wear them in photos, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama on her behalf.

Yvonne Allen of Tuskegee said in the lawsuit that when she went to renew her license in December, she was directed to remove the headscarf she wears in accordance with her religious beliefs. She said the clerk insisted that only Muslim women were allowed to cover their hair in the photos.

‘‘The government cannot discriminate between faiths in granting religious accommodations,’’ said Susan Watson, executive director of the ACLU of Alabama.

The state in 2004 — responding to complaints from Muslims and Sikhs — did away with a policy that prohibited the wearing of headscarves and turbans in driver’s license photos.

The new policy said that head coverings and headgear are acceptable for religious beliefs and medical conditions, but for no other reason. The person’s face must be visible in the photo....



"Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale’s spokesman Scott Bardsley noted police services in the cities of Toronto and Edmonton and those across the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Norway, as well as some US states, have adopted similar policies. The change in Canada is in contrast to France, where at least a dozen towns have banned body-covering burkini swimwear favored by some Muslim women." 

Also see: O Canada!

Issue #3:

Paris to open new reception center for migrants

Protesters block Calais roads seeking migrant camp closure

"On Monday, French truck drivers and local residents protested against the large migrant camp outside the city. In the camp, between 7,000 and 9,000 refugees and migrants — mostly from Afghanistan and Sudan — live in squalid conditions and legal limbo. Nearly equidistant from London and Paris, “the Jungle” has become an arresting symbol of Europe’s migrant crisis, no longer confined to the continent’s periphery. The concrete wall, a crucial part of a $22.65 million Franco-British security package agreed to in early March, is slated to be approximately 13 feet high."

Britain, France are constructing a ‘Great Wall of Calais’ to keep migrants from port.

"The camp’s population has soared to its highest-ever level since taking root on the edge of Calais in April 2015. The rising numbers reflect the durability of the global migrant crisis, as the flow into Europe continues despite efforts to contain it...."

Despite efforts to dismantle French camp, migrants keep pouring into Calais

Fear and questions hang over doomed French migrant camp

France clears refugee camp, disperses thousands of migrants

Crews begin to tear down ‘the jungle” migrant camp in France

Where and how to now?

French authorities declare the Calais migrant camp empty

After French camp is razed, migrants adapt again

Police operation creates tension in Paris migrant camp

Migrants flooding the streets of Paris

Top French court: police illegally checked 3 minority men

"Protests grip France after police deny raping black man" Associated Press  February 13, 2017

PARIS — A demonstration by hundreds of people protesting the alleged rape of a young black man by police degenerated into violence in a Paris suburb, with small groups setting vehicles on fire and throwing projectiles at officers.

Officers responded with tear gas after the violence broke out Saturday night.

The demonstration began peacefully near the courthouse in the northeast Paris suburb of Bobigny. Protesters called for justice for the 22-year-old man, who was arrested Feb. 2 in Aulnay-Sous-Bois during an ID check by four police officers.

The young man — who is still hospitalized — says he was sodomized with a police baton. The situation has sparked a week of nightly unrest in several small towns with minority populations.

Oh, no! Like that Haitian guy in New York City.

One officer was charged with aggravated rape and three others with aggravated assault. All deny the allegations.

Police claimed that the violation of the man with a baton was an accident.

What, he fell on it?

After the violence, at least 37 people were jailed, and a girl had to be rescued from a burning car.

‘‘The whole area where the demonstration started is now soaking in tear gas,’’ Al Jazeera reported from the city.

The victim, identified as Théo, was in a hospital during the chaos, AFP reported, after an operation for severe injuries. He was covered in blood when he arrived at an emergency room Feb. 2.

Doctors discovered that his primary injury had been caused by a police truncheon used to sodomize the suspect.

While noting that the violent encounter was ‘‘very serious,’’ the investigation by France’s national police determined that the incident was ‘‘not a rape’’ because of the ‘‘unintentional character’’ of the penetration, according to the Huffington Post’s French edition....

(Blog editor is speechless)


Surveillance plane crashes off Malta, killing 5

A huge fireball soon after lifting off with important people dead.

Gunmen tie up Kim Kardashian West, rob her of $10m in jewelry

17 arrested in connection with Kim Kardashian robbery

Looking like a staged event to garner public attention.

After Kim Kardashian, another mega-jewelry heist in Paris

Paris climate agreement to take effect Nov. 4

Undone on March 29 -- and reinstated on April 19!

In France, an effort to turn frowns upside down

Didn't work.


I'm surprised the Globe's World section has no mention of the shooting.